Panel 1: We start off at a cocktail party with Jayne D'Eau telling how Elly much she loves occasions like this. She then asks if John, the dentist, is a fan.
Panel 2: Elly doesn't know. John, who is standing there with his fingers in people's mouths critiquing their dental work, always ends up talking shop.
Hypothesis: It wasn't racing around in an engineer's uniform that caused people to avoid JFTF. This sort of crap turned them off long before he started thinking of empty spaces with a view to what kind of train layout he could put on them.